Bringing out the dead - Page 2

SFJFF docs raise important questions about the Holocaust on film

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A tragic moment preserved in time, as seen in "Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades"

Hersonski is similarly clever in staging her interviews: she films survivors watching the reels in darkened theaters, alone, offering comments and startling yelps of recognition ("Oy, I knew that woman!")

Before a contemporary filmmaker leans on horrific archival images as self-evident documents, he or she really ought to see the clip in A Film Unfinished of Jewish prisoners being rounded up for a film shoot, terrified that they were being led to slaughter — which they were, of course. The filming was a rehearsal for the murders, and, as Einsatzgruppen shows us ad nauseam, the camera was occasionally present for the final moments as well. The death brigade's supervisorial role in the Eastern European killings afforded them their "objective" camera positions — a fact that should give any well-meaning documentarian pause.

SAN FRANCISCO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL

July 14–Aug. 9, most shows $11

Castro, 429 Castro, SF; Roda Theatre, 2025 Addison, Berk; CineArts@Palo Alto Square, 3000 El Camino Real Bldg Six, Palo Alto; Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, 118 Fourth St., San Rafael

(415) 256-TIXX

www.sfjff.org

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